Europe

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lviv

Things to Do in Lviv, Ukraine’s Most Beautiful City

Vibrantly-painted examples of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture rise up above me on all sides.  I think to myself, I need blinders to walk through the cobblestone alleys in Lviv’s UNESCO old town.  My eyes were constantly being drawn away from the uneven path directly in front of me to the magnificent buildings in my […]

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Best Things to Do in Gdansk, Poland

It wasn’t the typical “see the view” tower that I’d climbed in so many other Central European cities.  Taking on the lofty turret in St. Mary’s church proved a worthy opponent.  The massive 14th-century Gothic basilica is the largest brick ecclesiastical structure in the world, and the 400 timeworn spiral steps to the viewing platform […]

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Kryivka

Kryivka Lviv: Ukraine’s Most Fun Restaurant

If you only go to one place for dinner in Lviv, Ukraine it should be Kryivka.  Here, you get not only food but an entire World War II Insurgence Army experience. But first, you have to find it… Lviv is the prettiest European city that you’ve never heard of. Located in western Ukraine near its […]

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Amazing Azores Holidays: Sao Miguel Road Trip Planner

Officially part of Portugal, São Miguel is the largest of the islands in the Azores archipelago.  More than half of the Azores’ population calls this island home. Also known as “the green island,” it’s all about nature and enjoying the outdoors in São Miguel. The island is packed with volcano craters, lagoons, small rivers, natural […]

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visit warsaw

Conquering Communism: Best Things to Do in Warsaw This Year

Careening through the backstreets of Warsaw in a minibus that bumped and jostled us through a former Communist neighborhood, I immediately regretted that extra pierogi I’d had for lunch that now threatened to expel itself. As if clairvoyant, Tomas, our guide, stopped and guided us into an area where partially destroyed, bullet-ridden brick structures were oddly […]

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Gdansk Beaches: 7 Reasons to Visit the Polish Riviera

The wind whipped my ponytail across my new Polish sunglasses and into my mouth – which was open because I was laughing.  In spite of the brooding sky and rapidly approaching cloud formations, I was at one of the Gdansk beaches.  The beach.  My happy place. Poland has something that most of the other land-locked […]

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photo credit: Archie McPhee Seattle Pickpocket Wallet via photopin (license)

Pickpocketing in Europe: How to Avoid and What to Do If It Happens

The 7th-floor terrace of House of Legends restaurant was small and cramped, just two tables taking up any excess space.  I squeezed past the diners, made my way over to the railing, and whipped out my smartphone to snap a photo of the stunning sunset over Lviv, one of Eastern Europe’s most beautiful cities. Recalling […]

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chernobyl tours

10 Reasons Why Chernobyl Tours Are the Best Dark Tourism Experience

Broken glass crackled and crunched beneath my feet. Sun streamed through the remains of a once-magnificent stained glass window. Broken dolls and filthy baby shoes littered the floor.  A child’s storybook stood open as if waiting for its reader to continue.  Never would I have imagined that Chernobyl tours, the site of the worst nuclear […]

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Kiev Ukraine

Kiev is the lively capital and largest city in Ukraine, greedily taking up both banks of the Dnieper River.  Three million people call this fusion of ancient and modern architecture home. Kiev’s beautiful cathedrals and monasteries spill out onto cobblestone streets and abundant green spaces and parks. Although many buildings were destroyed during the Communist […]

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Best Places to Visit in Poland: Travel Guide to Krakow, Warsaw & Gdansk

Poland.  It’s one of the few countries in Central Europe that I had not visited. Gloomy images of tragedy, poverty, and food lines were all I knew.  But I was wrong, so wrong. What I found was a county that boasts the sixth largest economy in Europe and is one of the safest places to […]

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